Slot Game Terms You Need to Know About

TheSlotBuzz aims to provide information that increases all players’ online experience. Our slot game terms guide covers all the slot terms used in slots, paytables and slot reviews. It is not necessary to know all the online slot game terminology, but knowing those used most often can increase your enjoyment in terms of what to look out for when you choose an online slot.

Whether you enjoy video slot machines or playing a less complicated classic slot machine, online slot games offer all the information you need, from the slot volatility to RTP and maximum win potential. Knowing the meaning of the terms used to explain the features on the paytable is vital in making the most of your spinning experience.


Paylines are the lines where matching symbols need to appear left to right, from the first reel, adjacent to each other to form a win.

Fruit slots and one-armed bandit slot machines feature one payline, which runs across all three reels.

Single payline classic slots are the most basic slots and remain a favourite in land-based casinos, online casinos, and mobile casinos. A single payline slot is also the most affordable due to one payline to place bets on only.

Slots with more than one payline also called multi-line bonus slots, including 3D video slots, branded slots, multi-line slot machines, or video slot machines feature multiple reels and paylines.

Five reel video slots can host 3 up to 100 or more paylines, which means it is possible to achieve winning combinations on a larger number of paylines. The more paylines the better chances of forming combinations in a single spin.

Flexible paylines, some slot games make it possible for the player to select the number of paylines in play, while others are fixed payline slots, which means all paylines remain in play during every spin.


Return to player percentages mostly named by its abbreviation RTP is the theoretical amount the player can expect the slot to pay back over time, or a large number of spins, millions usually. For example, online slot games with a 98% RTP could be expected to return around £98 in wins for every bet of £100.

The term loose slot machine is an expression used to describe a particular slot machine that appears to award greater payouts, and pay more often or than other slots.

As with loose slots, the term tight slots are mostly used to describe a physical slot machine at a land-based casino said to make lower payouts than other slot machines.


Volatility is the term used to indicate how often slot machine games pay out. Volatility is divided into three categories:

A high volatility slots machine offers infrequent payouts, although the payouts are often massive.

Medium volatility slot games balance small and big payouts while paying more often than high volatility slots and less frequent than a low volatility slot machine game.

A low volatility slot pays out smaller wins frequently.

Bet Range

Bet range used in the context of online slots gambling refers to the spectrum of wagers available to select from, the video slot machine minimum bet to its maximum bet.

Bet levels are used in some of the newer online slots and are normally measured in levels from 1 up to 10. Each level multiplies the selected coin value to increase bet variations.

The total bet is the sum of coins stacked coin on each payline during a spin.

Bonus Buy

Bonus buy is an additional feature offered by several of the newer or more modern slots, it makes it possible for the player to trigger the bonus, usually free spins, at any time.

Activating the bonus as often as one wish via the bonus buy requires additional betting of around 50x and upwards of the current bet.

Bonus buy not only offer more bonus play at an extra cost that reduces the slot paying bankroll but also improves the RTP of the online slot.

Free to Play

Free to play online slots also abbreviated as F2P or FTP, are slots offering players access to demo or free play that requires no real money wagering.

Real Money Play

Real money play is the term used for playing slots at online casinos making it possible to place bets in real money. The real money slots offer payouts in real cash that can be withdrawn.

Line Bet

The bet level is the number of coins the player can bet per line which is then multiplied by the number of active paylines to determine the bet per spin

Line bet refers to the coin value of each coin, also known as the denomination slot machine or bet size offering flexibility in betting options and the amount of money spent per spin.


Megaways slots use the random reel Megaways™ modifier mechanics developed and patented by Big Time Gaming in 2017.

The innovative Megaways mechanics increase slot enjoyment by making it possible to unlock from around 300 up to 117,649 ways to win in any spin.


Megapays™ is another Big Time Gaming invented game engine, it is a progressive jackpot networked to several slots.

All slots linked to the Megapay network are seen as an individual progressive slot machine that contributes to the linked jackpot via a small portion of each wager.

The Megapays™ jackpot features a four-level jackpot system featuring the midi, mini, major and the largest of all the mega jackpot, which can be won from multiple casinos and slot machines linked to the jackpot system.


In vintage slots, reels are the mechanical wheels while in online slots, reels are the virtual reels part of the graphical display.

Reels in slots are the horizontally positioned columns on the grid that starts spinning once the spin button is pressed.

Random Number Generator RNG, all modern slot machines use RNG to ensure fair and random outcomes.

PRNGs or pseudorandom number generators used previously constantly generated random number sequences at a rate of thousands or more per second, although it was replaced due to eventual sequence repeats.


The paytable in an online slot game, land-based slot or even video poker machine is the list of payouts shown per symbol part of a combination.

In modern slots the paytable offers multiple pages showing the payouts and prizes per symbols and combinations, the basic rules, explaining the bonus features, information regarding how to trigger jackpots, slot machine terms, and the RTP and a maximum payout of the slot.

Penny Slot

Penny slots are slot games that are playable with bets of only o.o1 per payline, the name of this slots type appeals to players and the term indicates that you can play from as little as one cent.

Penny slot games might offer a fixed number of reels, which means 0.01 per payline x the number of paylines.

Progressive Jackpot

A progressive jackpot increases in value every time a real money wager is played, a small percentage of each bet contributes to the increase in the jackpot payout.

Once a progressive jackpot is won it resets to a value that was predetermined also known as the seed value. It is the minimum the progressive jackpot will pay a winner.


Scatters are extremely valuable symbols in any slot game, scatter symbols are special since in the majority of slot games it leads play into the bonus stage.

Variations of scatter symbols normally explained in the pay table of slots can activate free spins of which the number of spins is determined by the number of scatters in view at the time.


Scatterpay is the term used for scatter symbols awarding payouts from any position on the reels without being part of a combination.

Scatterpays or payouts by scatter symbols are based on a multiplier of the total bet placed and determined by the number of scatters.

The multiplier for example three scatters increases significantly when four scatters are present and even more so for five scatters.

Scatter Symbols

Scatter symbols are also referred to as sacred symbols since they can never or very rarely be replaced by wild symbols.

Scatter symbols not only activate bonus features such as free spins but also activate more free spins when three or more show up during the bonus feature. Depending on the rules of the slot displayed on the paytable.

Stacked Symbols

Stacked symbols are matching symbols that appear stacked on top of each other to take up an entire reel.

Stacked symbols or stacked reel symbols increase the winning potential and are often part of the bonus features in multi-line slots.

Wild Symbols

Wild symbols are the same as a joker symbol in card games, it can act as any other symbol. In slot games, wilds increase the odds or chances of winning combinations by standing in for other symbols.

Wild symbols can normally replace any paying symbol but not special symbols such as scatter symbols, bonus symbols, free spin symbols or jackpot symbols.

Often wild symbols are also the highest paying symbol in slots and offer the maximum win when five appear on an active payline. Wilds are also the most versatile and appear in many forms.

Slot Machine Sticky Wild Symbols

Stacked wild symbols appear in a stack on the reels on top of each other to occupy an entire reel.

Stacked wilds could appear on all reels or only specific reels, the paytable provides such information since it varies between slots.

Stacked wilds offer huge advantages and can increase the chances of winning combinations on all paylines and reels it is a part of.

Slot Machines with Expanding Wilds

Expanding wilds might seem the same as a stacked wild, although the difference is that staked wilds only appear vertically. Expanding wilds can expand in multiple directions.

Expanding wilds can appear during the base game, only during the bonus rounds, or in both the base and bonus games.

Expanding wilds massively increases the potential to claim instant wins due to expansion in any direction, vertically or horizontally.

Grouped Wilds

Grouped wilds are a group of wilds appearing at the same time on the reels, the grouped wild could occupy several reel positions, but do not expand or spread.

Grouped wilds are often called colossal wild symbols and can appear in a 2×2 or 3×3 format that almost guarantees combination wins.

Other Types of Wilds

Colliding wilds are two wild symbols that appear at the same time and then come together as side-by-side wilds.

Colliding wilds can be two of the same wilds or different wilds and once they collide a bonus feature gets triggered.

Replicating wilds is the term often used for wilds transforming regular symbols into wild symbols.

Multiplier wilds are wild symbols enhanced via a multiplier that can double combination payouts when one or more wilds play a part in a winning combination.

Walking wilds are wilds that move one reel to the left or the right during every spin normally part of the free spins bonus.

Walking wilds or shifting wilds in slots with more than one wild symbol could feature a wild moving one reel to the left and another moving one reel to the right during a bonus feature.

Best Slot Sites